I’m led to believe that Greeks fall into two essentially distinct categories: those with about 25% Slavic ancestry and those with none at all. I think there’s an obvious explanation, especially if you’re familiar with Byzantine history and the fate of generals made out of glass.

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63 Responses to Greece

  1. Difference Maker says:

    I think the rehellenization was not worth it. Philosophy was gone, macedon and sparta were gone. The Roman road was notoriously indefensible. In later days the remnants would obsessively fight over scraps, wasting manpower and turning the empire itself into a rump state by fatally stripping the frontier when the real core of the empire was Asia minor.

    No doubt the economic and cultural attraction of the burgeoning West along with its people were alluring, not to mention the political entanglements. In the dark ages however, the empire had survived and then thrived when it held only a few outposts in Greece.

    • A few dates would have clarified your comment enormously.

      • Difference Maker says:

        Byzantine 7th to 9th centuries
        Byzantine 1263 ad. Post 4th Crusade. Recapture of Constantinople
        Byzantine 1328 ad. Obsession with the west. A Byzantine army would never again set foot in Asia Minor

        In a single generation after the recapture of Constantinople the entire Nikaean empire, which had been the successor state, was overrun. In another generation the empire would even be kicked off of the beaches. Such was the obsession with the West.

        The pathetic display put up by the Byzantine empire in the 13th to 14th centuries has important implications for border security. Ideologues scrabbling after their obsessions while letting the border collapse.

        In Late Antiquity the term Hellene referred to the Hellenistic derived classical Roman culture. By the Middle Ages however, after the intervening period of the Dark Ages, in contrast with the Crusaders and with the collapse of the frontier and shrinking of the borders to Greece itself, Hellene came to refer, perhaps quite naturally, to the people living in Greece. And so the obsession with fighting over Greece and ideological purity began.

        As well, by parallel the situation at the end of Han China – although centralized Han derived states would continue for several generations, the rot had already set in. In a semi famous memorandum, an official regarding the western districts, which had been required to do so much border fighting that purportedly even the women went around armed and jolly athletic, derided the irresponsibility and cowardice of Eastern Han officials, who, homesick for the luxury and courtlife of the east, were wont to flee for their miserable lives and give up marginal border districts.

        As according to the saying, Eastern Han produces ministers, while Western Han produced generals.

        Eventually, he said, and I wish I could find and quote it, if you give up this district then the next district over will come under attack, and then you will give up that district. And next you withdraw from that district, and then the district after that, and the next district after that, and one day you will suddenly find that your border is the Eastern Ocean. A statement that proved prophetic

  2. tommy says:

    Those with no Slavic ancestry might well be descendants of the Greeks who got expelled from Asia Minor after WW1, or from the Aegean islands, that is areas which the early medieval Slavic expansion never reached.

    • gcochran9 says:

      That’s what I suspect.

    • Harry Lahanas says:

      This fits rather well with my own family history. Mother’s side were Greek Christian refugees from Pontus in 1922 (Very ancient Greek population on the Black Sea coast of Turkey). Father’s side were from south Peloponese (Koroni, from at least 16th Century). I had a DNA Ancestry analysis done. Showed very little Slavic/East European, and very strong Anatolian/Turkey. The strongest match of all though, was . . . Canary Islands???

      • dearieme says:

        Are Canary Islanders closely related to Berbers? I mean the indigenous population, not the Spanish colonists.

        • Harry Lahanas says:

          Yes, the Guanches (the indigenous, pre-Spanish) inhabitants of the Canaries are somehow related to Berbers, but the relationship seems complicated. It may be that both Guanches and Berbers share common ancestry from before the Arabs conquered North Africa. Berber pirates certainly raided the southern Greek coasts, the region of my patrilineal line. Still, it seams surprising that “Canary Islands” could be the strongest link, based on some possible pirates in the family line from a few hundred years ago. We know the first and last names of all my Fathers’s ancestors going back at least a couple hundred years; they are all Greek Christian names. And as for my Mother’s side, the Pontians, I can see no possibility of Canarians, Spanish, or Berber admixture at all. I used a company called DNATribes, perhaps their method is flawed.

  3. RobT says:

    Most of the Greek-Americans I know are largely Albanian in ancestry . . .

  4. Neocolonial says:

    Are modern Greeks descended largely from Classical Greeks?

  5. st says:

    As deep as in peloponnese and lacedaemon there are plenty of placenames with slavic etymology that should not have been there and hint to demographic discontinuity and multiple population replacements.
    So, Cochran is right at large. Except that there is a third group group of greeks – those who are, let say, 80% slavic – I am talking about the pomaks ( and those of the southern slavs, who chose to stay in northern greece during the multiple population exchanges that happened during 20th century. I do not want to speculate on their numbers because the greeks are extremely sensitive on the matter, however their number might be like hundreds of thousands. It is not like both groups are exactly thriving nowadays, but they are still there.
    And except that the rest are generic levantine christians, since the base of Byzantine Empire has always been Anatolia and after the purge during the folk wandering of 4-7 century AD what is now Greece has been repopulated multiple times with people from Anatolia, Caucasus, Georgia and christians from the near east – when the islamic conquest took over the northern African and near eastern provinces of the empire.
    There is something else as well – there is this late Byzantine princess, Anna Komnene, from 12th century AD, or, more precisely, Epiran princess; anyway, she left those memoirs of hers, that are mandatory part of the curriculum of Byzantine Studies nowadays, describing the events of her time. My point is, she writes that what is now part of Greece was a dumping ground during her times – the Byzantine Emperors were dumping there all kind of religious heretic sects from the interior and from as far as Caucasus (she speaks about armenians and georgians among others). In her own words, northern greece “…has became a meeting place of the unclean waters from the whole Empire” (she meant “unclean” religiously); the demography of the area had gone so astray due to the policy of the emperors, that during 11-12 century the whole area had to be re-christianised and there were number religion missions among the armenian and georgian colonists of the area. They were unsuccessful mostly but nonetheless speak about the magnitude of caucasian and anatolian settlements in what is now Greece. (there are surviving Byzantine church chronics on the topic.)

    • ohwilleke says:

      Interesting, I had had the impression that the exchange of Greece speaking populations and non-Greek speaking populations by Greece and Turkey respectively about a century or so ago had (to be euphemistic about it) mostly sorted ethnic Greek and ethnic Anatolians, and hadn’t been aware of previous intentional mixing of the salad (so to speak) in Greece.

      • st says:

        There are 3 treaties from the 20th century that I know of dealing with population exchanges between Greece and the slavic countries – one from 1919, another from 1927 and a 3rd from 1945. The one from 1927 resulted in about 400 000 slavic speakers moving north; carry in mind that the total population of Greece at this time was not exceeding 4 millions; The totals of these 3 exchanges could have easily been above 1.5 millions – i do not know. Nobody knows. The question is how many of the slavic speakers opted to stay; greek government wanted them staying (as long as they stop being slavic speakers) and granted everyone who would chose to stay with the estates of those who would chose to leave Greece plus other financial incentives; It was a generous offer and a substantial part of slavonic speakers took it. How many is a pointless question since there is no answer by definition (speaking another language was considered a break in the contract and would lead to a stripping off the incentives and forced relocation). A research on the topic:
        But you are right, the salad is much bigger than that. Athens and attica was Venetian’s colony for more than 2 centuries in the middle ages;same with Crete; numerous other venetian and genoese colonies and trade posts on aegean islands that lasted centuries; Byzantium empire effectively dissolved when the crusaders from the 4th crusade took over its capital, Constantinople, in 1204 AD and never really recovered -only a name of it; The italian city states took over southern greece and the aegean islands so if Cochran will be looking for ancient hellenes on the islands he might encounter few surprises in the form of diverse bunch of appeninian alleles and not much else to research about.
        And this is not even everything. P.S. Good thing 7000 crusaders from the same crusade confronted a huge invading seljuk army of, chronicles say, about 200 000 (perhaps not reliable number) strong islamic forces , destroyed it to everyone’s shock and put the seljuks empire (stretching at this time from Persia to Constantinople) to an end, delaying the muslim conquest of the region with few centuries. Which is to say, at this point of time, Anatolia was already inhabited densely by seljuk turks, persians and arabs; what was left from Visantia in anatolia were two pieces of land, Trapezon Empire and Nikea Empire, both as big as Main taken together.

  6. dearieme says:

    The only Greek I’ve known at all well had a Turkish surname: she was from a expelled Greek family that viewed itself as Turkish only in name. How common this phenomenon is I have no idea.

  7. DataExplorer says:

    I came to a similar conclusion after traveling in Greece. It struck me that there are two very distinct “Greek” looks: some look very Eastern European, and some very Near Eastern. Though on the island of Rhodes almost everyone looks Near Eastern.

  8. IC says:

    Personal observation: Greeks in Athens looks like middle eastern. Greeks on islands looks like those classic sculpture shape with universal dark hair and eyes. Greek in mainland countryside and small city looks like typical Europeans with pale skin, light hair and light eyes (Slavic?)

    Turkey culture is very similar to Greek in term of food, music, except religions. Turks have more light features (pale skin and light eyes) than Greeks.

    This is just superficial observation which might not have much weight.

    • BB753 says:

      Indeed, very superficial. You probably mistook the thousands of foreign Middle-eastern refugees and/or immigrants for local Greeks.
      You do have a point with Turks, though, in a way. Of all middle easterners they’re the closest in phenotype to Europeans.

    • Difference Maker says:

      There were actually Slavs and Alans settled in what is now turkey, and of course Galatians and Thracians going back in time

      • EH says:

        In fact there were virtually no Turks in Anatolia until about a thousand years ago; up until then Anatolia was mostly Greek. I think the supposedly “middle eastern” look of most Greeks is largely from the centuries of subjection to ethnic Turks, who aren’t originally from the middle east proper at all, but invaders from Turkestan, but it may be that that look isn’t really Turkish but rather that the earlier Anatolians had a similar pyknic, hirsute and ill-countenanced population. The “orcish” look seems most common in Athens (which has most of Greece’s population, including the vast preponderance of the Pontic (Anatolian) Greeks who were expelled from their ancient homeland in the 1920s after the humiliating total defeat of Greece’s invasion of Turkey), but from what I have seen, the look isn’t uncommon on Crete and Karpathos (between Crete and Rhodes), both continuously inhabited since the neolithic.

      • EH says:

        Followup: I just happened across a link form Free Northerner to a recent Evolutionistx post: Turkey: Not very Turkic (a genetic history of the Turkic peoples). It seems that there isn’t much coherence to the Turkic genealogy anywhere from Bosnia to western Siberia, they’re wildly varying mixtures. Turkic seems to be basically a linguistic grouping rather than genetic.

  9. Pingback: Greeks And Slavs | VDARE - premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform

  10. ohwilleke says:

    Are you auditioning for a job in Delphi? The post and the previous one have been pretty cryptic.

  11. Fd says:

    “and the fate of generals made out of glass.”

    Can someone explain this part.

  12. Jm8 says:

    The (southern) Slavic speaking peoples of the Balkans are themselves a genetic hybrid of Slavs(“true” Slavs from around the Slavic home region of Poland-Ukraine/Belarus) and native Balkan (Thraco-Dacian) peoples. The Slavs who invaded Greece would likely have been heavily hybridized also.

  13. Justin says:

    I also wonder if the “Greeks” they shipped in from southern Italy aren’t partly to blame for the oddly low IQ of modern Greeks.

    • Frank says:

      Brain drain is to be blamed. 5 million+ Greeks live outside of Greece (population: 11 million).

    • Hellene says:

      What? Southern Italians were never shipped to Greece, and they don’t have low IQ anyway.

      • Justin says:

        People attack Lynn because they don’t like his conclusions. Too bad. Your link argues that Lynn is wrong because he uses PISA scores. Well sorry, it’s perfectly reasonable to “quantify innate general intelligence by looking at the academic performance of school kids, a measure that to a large extent involves learned knowledge and other factors”. Life is an IQ test, and PISA scores line up well with national IQ measures. It’s been known for centuries that southern Italy is not as well run as the north and no where near as culturally or scientifically productive. Lynn’s conclusion is in line with this.

        As for shipping Greeks from Italy in, well I’ve read it numerous times. Take it up with a Byzantine scholar. We’d need to find out what primary sources they cite for this fact, and then you’d need to tell us why those sources are wrong.

        • Hellene says:

          People attack Lynn because he cherry-picks and massages data, and has connections to white supremacist organizations. His work is biased pseudoscience.

          PISA scores actually don’t line up very well with national IQ measures – not even Lynn’s dubious IQ figures – because they measure a lot more than g, as one of Lynn’s own sources states. Many different researchers have refuted his Italian IQ study for using PISA scores as well as other reasons (see under Updates in my link).

          Lynn is also wrong about Greek IQ.

          Southern Italy’s problems have nothing to do with intelligence. They’re a result of bad geography and lack of resources compared to the north.

          • Justin says:

            So it just happens that PISA scores, ie IQ plus random learning decline steadily as you go from Rome south? That’s convenient because it also lines up well with how you’d figure advancing Indo-European gene flow would dissipate as it mixed in with the preexisting MEF population, and we know southern Italians and Sicilians have more MEF.

          • gcochran9 says:

            “a result of bad geography and lack of resources compared to the north.”

            One would hope that you could some up with something better than that.

          • Hellene says:


            If achievement test scores are the same as IQ scores, then poor whites in the UK have a much lower IQ than wealthier ones, and lower even than poor blacks!


            Yes, southern Europe has more neolithic farmer ancestry than northern Europe. So? What’s your evidence that farmers were less intelligent than Indo-Europeans, whose ancestry was 1/2 farmer-related and 1/2 primitive hunter-gatherer?

          • Hellene says:


            Did you even read the link I posted? Here’s another:


            Northern Italy has all the good farmland, all the long navigable rivers, and all the hydroelectric power. That’s how it became industrialised and wealthy, and why the south has remained poor.

          • JayMan says:

            Hellene, stop it:

            Welcome Readers from Portugal!

            Average IQ is high all across China, despite the fact that the interior sections of the country are highly impoverished, with many just now developing. … Indeed, contrast what we see in impoverished but inventive China with Saudi Arabia – a country with incredible wealth, thanks to its abundant oil reserves, and a high GDP “per capita” – but which performs poorly on scholastic tests. Despite its wealth, it has an average IQ of about 80

            Stop relying on “Racial Reality” for your information on this topic.

            As I said before, certain people go batty when you point out the lower average IQ of Southern Europeans (or the higher clannishness of Eastern Europeans).

          • Hellene says:


            Naming other countries is not an argument, unless you have proof they became wealthy only because of their IQ. Japan for example benefited greatly from strong Western influence, especially US aid after the war. Switzerland has hydropower from the Alps just like northern Italy. And Finland has good resources and a smaller population than the Toronto metro area. None of those factors apply to southern Italy or Greece.


            Funny, he says I should stop relying on you.


            • gcochran9 says:

              The US gave some countries a lot of aid, although a country’s success seems to have little to do with how much they got, or for that matter whether they got any at all. Nobody seems to know this: you certainly don’t. We gave the UK twice as much aid in the Marshall plan as Germany – and so Germany had a higher per-capita GDP than the UK by 1965. Even though Germany was thoroughly whacked by the war, much more so than the UK. Makes you wonder.

              We did give Japan some aid after WWII, although they weren’t in the Marshall Plan. Mostly food aid – for example after people started dropping dead of starvation on the streets of Tokyo just after the surrender. We gave considerably more aid to Italy, which had half the population of Japan. But if you add in burning down all of Japan’s cities, sinking their entire Navy and merchant fleet, and nuking them, it’s possible to argue their overall experience with the US in 1940s and 50s was not a net economic plus, although it did A. teach them to keep their mitts off other countries and B. was the inspiration for the Godzilla movies.

              Japan has almost no national resources: it makes its living from its peoples’ talents. Which is the case for most rich countries – agriculture and mining are a small faction of the economy in most wealthy countries. Places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait do it from oil: if they had to rely on their talents, they’d be poor as mosque mice. Because they’re dumb. Being Moslem is a bonus, something like a transorbital leucotomy.

              Finland has crappy farmland, no oil, no uranium, no orichalcum: they have trees. They have lots of human capital ( they’re tough and smart) – not just any country could have produced Simo Häyhä and the Leningrad Cowboys.

              Switzerland: try farming a mountain. No significant minerals. No oil. Tough and smart: they also made good choices, eschewing war and making themselves too tough to be worth invading.

              New England: it must have been the stones in the fields that made them become prosperous.

              I keep thinking that people have some general understanding of the world: of course they know that the key Japanese natural resource isn’t low grade coal or nonexistent oil – it’s tentacle porn!

          • Hellene says:

            Japan was given more than food aid. The US established a more direct presence there than anywhere else because it was worried about the spread of communism in Asia, and it invested a lot more in the Japanese economy.

            Switzerland doesn’t need farming, minerals or oil because it has massive hydroelectric power that permits industry and manufacturing.

            Trees are a valuable resource, and Finland’s supply makes it one of the world’s leaders in forestry. It also has substantial freshwater and mineral resources.

            New England was just a small part of a vast new land full of fertile soil, coal, hydropower, minerals and oil that was all there for the taking.

            Your idea that countries are wealthy or poor only because their people are either “smart” or “dumb” is simplistic. Intelligence is just one possible factor, but there are many others that have to be considered as well.

            I mean, why did Germany end up with a higher GDP than the UK? Their people’s intelligence and ancestry is about the same. Time to look for a better explanation.

            • gcochran9 says:

              You have no idea what you’re talking about. For example, Switzerland – try running cars or airplanes on electricity. Maybe someday, but not yet. Switzerland uses about 300 terawatt hours in a year: about 35 terawatts come from hydro. They import lots of fossil fuels. How do they pay for all those imports? By being clever.

              The US sent some food aid to Japan – as I said, lots less aid than they sent to Italy – and that was pretty much it. There wasn’t much direct foreign investment into Japan, from the US or from anywhere else. Japan made stuff, sold it, saved a lot of the proceeds, and invested. They did get a lot of business out of the Korean War – but that wasn’t aid. They had to get the job done.

              Finland is a crappy place to farm. They have to import fossil fuels. forestry is a real industry in Finland, but it only accounts for a teeny fraction of GNP. Agriculture – all of it – accounts for about 2.8% of Finnish GNP. Manufacturing accounts for about a quarter, but only an eighth of that is forest products. So forestry is about 3% of the economy.

              FYI, 3% is small.

              New England was prosperous even before settlement and cheap transportation (canals and railroads) opened up the vast resources of the interior United States. They invented, at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. They built clipper ships. They chased albino whales. Hell, they cut ice off frozen ponds and shipped it to India.

          • Hellene says:

            You mention lots of facts and figures, but they’re not sourced so I can’t judge. Many seem wrong or just not relevant. Let’s look at some actual sources.



            From the 1700s Japan saw “growth in paddy rice production and the growing of industrial crops like tea, fruit, mulberry plant growing (that sustained the raising of silk cocoons) and cotton.” Because of that success it was able to industrialise by “emulating Western organizational forms and Western techniques in energy production.”

            But it was the 1945-51 allied occupation that turned it into an economic superpower when its “economy and infrastructure was revamped” by US-led reforms that “transformed the institutional environment conditioning economic performance”, and then when “American companies were encouraged to license technology to Japanese companies.”

            So the Japanese started with valuable resources, which made them ready to copy Western industry, and then they got rich because of Western occupation and direct US involvement in their economy. That’s a lot more than just cleverness.


            Click to access RHE-2005-XXIII-Beltran.pdf

            “Publishing was highly electrified in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Norway. The chemical industry was also highly electrified if we include the electrochemical sector, above all in the countries well endowed with water resources such as Switzerland, Norway, France –in the Alps– and Germany. Something similar happened in the metal constructions sector related to the electrometallurgical sector in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway. . . . There was also a relationship between the accumulation of physical capital and electrification process and the increase in labour productivity, manufacturing and income per capita, especially in the countries that were badly endowed with coal deposits, but enjoyed better opportunities for the production of electricity.”



            The forest industry today is of “enormous significance for the national economy.” It’s “the main source of income for many regions”, creating a lot of jobs directly and indirectly through manufacturing of “billions worth of paper and wood products”. It is “a pillar of the Finnish export industry,” invests “EUR 100 million a year in research and development functions,” and is very sustainable. It was probably even more important in the past, and like in Japan enabled further growth.

            As to New England, all the things you mentioned (building ships, hunting whales, shipping ice) require resources in addition to cleverness. America is a land of plenty.

            • gcochran9 says:

              You have no idea what you’re talking about. It can be hard to argue with someone who knows little, especially when your arguments depends upon a mass of facts, rather than a line of logic.
              More on that later, You. on the other hand, should go away.

          • JayMan says:

            I’m just going to get popcorn at this point because apparently Hellene you’re a sucker for punishment…

          • Hellene says:

            I have a mass of facts AND a line of logic. You’ve shown that you have neither.

            All you have is a fangirl named JayMan, which should be a clue about how bad your arguments are.

            • gcochran9 says:

              You have to be profoundly ignorant to think that Japan has, or ever had, any significant natural resources. Forest industry accounts for at most 4% of Finnish GDP: it’s not the secret of their prosperity. All these facts you can find in one minute. And if you knew much history, you would already know them, at least approximately. Japan’s wars of conquest were aimed, in part at securing such natural resources – Manchurian coal and Indonesian oil, for example.

              • J-P says:

                It’s not about IQ as it is about culture. Meds don’t like being in centralized big corporations. They despise being employees and having a boss who works them, slavery basically. The northwest europeans and asians don’t mind big centralized structures. Its cultural. Greece has the largest amount of family owned businesses in europe, Italy is two countries, the north is full of all the big corporations, the south is home to the mom-n-pop shops.

                You could make more money working for some corporation or big entity but it sucks. Better to make less money and be your own boss. Greeks, southern italians, lebanese, some syrians, some french, they just don’t want to be in a big corporation. it’s shameful to be an employee.

        • Joachim Strobel says:

          A better analyses would help. I can only speak for Europe: GDP means not all. Look at the ratio of people living in their own house. Germany ranges in the 45% range. And that is not the result of the war, the number has not climbed since 40 years. Spain, UK, Italy, even Greese are much richer there. Wasting all GDP on cars that rust to dust may look good on paper but it is not. Making money from stamping a Chinese T-Shirt with a German brand logo that makes the rest of the world buy it because they are in a hate-love relation with some past German “achievements” is good for the GDP, but no substitute for a Tesla.
          For starters, wealth in Europe is related to how close coal and iron where geographically together 150 years ago (Asuming we exclude colonies for a moment). And then it is about the number of workers you had to care for and channel through the system after that and what you did with them: Start a war, let it go and have a revolution, terrorize colonies… The Nordic states were lucky that they could participated in industrialization (or cared more about hunting&fishing) without having to care for all the associated number of workers and can now tailor their school system to that. Sure, and then there is IQ.

        • JayMan says:

          All this is not even to touch on Singapore, which was founded on a little island in a tropical forest wasteland, and performs in the world profoundly by most metrics. This isn’t because it’s a city-state, since it’s GDP per capita far exceeds the cities of Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur (heck it even beats out Hong Kong). It isn’t because of some magic of living in the city, because the Chinese population beat out both the Malays and the Indians living there.

          • Justin says:

            I thought the HBD-blogosphere had sorted all this stuff out by 2011 and everyone knew ‘what you see is what you get’ for national IQ these days…

  14. John Jones says:

    I was a little surprised to find the US health establishment considers Greek a “race”. I wonder how this came about? See page 5 of these forms: (This is also an interesting form to see the craziness that PC has wrought on race and ethnicity)

    • Hellene says:

      That’s just one company, not the whole US health establishment. The form also has “American Indian” twice, “Multiracial” and “More than one race” as if they were different, and “Other Pacific Islander” before “Pacific Islander.” It’s full of errors! They maybe meant to put Greek under Preferred Language, because I’ve never seen Greeks considered a separate race anywhere else before.

  15. westhunt fan says:

    The PBS show Finding Your Roots did an episode on 3 guests with Greek ancestry (Tiny Fey, David Sedaris, and George Stephanopoulos). Their DNA results are shown at the end.

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